In-Journal PDFs On Roll20


What are In-Journal PDFs? 

Welcome to Roll20, PDFs! One of our most requested features is taking a seat at your tabletop, and we want to help you use our newest feature to the fullest extent. In this article is everything you need to get PDFs up and running for both you and your players.

PDFs, or Portable Document Format files, are files that allow you to view an entire document. With Roll20, you’ll be able to upload your PDFs to your Journal, view the PDF on your tabletop, and share the PDF with your players to view. We’ve broken up the steps to uploading and utilizing your PDF below.


Checking Your PDF

Before you upload your PDF, we recommend checking it over to make sure it’s optimized for viewing in Roll20. Our Optimizing PDFs for Roll20 article goes over how to ensure your PDF will function smoothly while you play. Once you’ve checked over that, you’re good to upload your PDF!


Uploading Your PDF

Below is a step by step process you can follow to upload your PDF into Roll20!

  1. Navigate directly into the game you wish to upload the PDF to
  2. From the Journal tab, select "+ Add" and choose "PDF"
  3. Click "No, upload PDF now"
  4. Name your PDF.
  5. Click to Select your PDF, or drag and drop your chosen PDF.
  6. Click "Save Changes"

Here are the most important things to note about the upload process:

  • All PDFs are scanned for viruses at time of upload, in order to keep you and your fellow players safe.

  • You can sync one pdf across multiple campaigns! When uploading, you will be asked whether you wish to pull an existing upload into your current game, or upload something new. Check out the Managing Your PDFs section for more information.

  • By uploading a PDF, you acknowledge that you have the legal right to use and share said PDF.

Managing Your PDF

There are two major sharing features when it comes to managing your PDFs on Roll20: Sharing your PDF with players, and sharing your PDF across games.

Sharing Your PDF With Players

Sharing PDFs with players is nearly identical to any entry you're sharing with players from the Journal, with the exception that PDFs can not currently be viewed in the External Journal. For more information on sharing Journal Entries with your players, check out the Editing section of the Journal page in our Help Center. 

Sharing Your PDF Across Your Games

With this feature, you can upload a single PDF and use it across all your games, without fear of it taking up any additional storage space on your account. When you go to upload a PDF, a prompt will pop up and ask you if you're trying to add a PDF that is already in your library.


If you choose to add from your existing library, a list of your current PDFs will appear. From here, you can select the PDF of your choice. You can also edit or delete any PDFs in your library from this menu as well. 


Using Your PDF

We've built a PDF viewer for the VTT that should feel a lot like the PDF viewers you're used to. Below outlines how our PDF viewer works.

PDF Viewer Functionality

Our PDF Viewer does not add any new or Roll20 specific functionality to how PDFs work. The viewer provides access and navigation tools to what the PDF creator has built within the document.


  1. This button toggles the sidebar for page previews, of which there are two preview options: 
  2. This button is the thumbnail option, which shows previews of the pages to look through. 
  3. This button is the outline option, which shows the outline of the pdf, if there is one.
  4. This is the Text Search button, which you can use to look for words in the PDF. 
  5. These are the page up and page down buttons, so you can navigate by page. 
  6. These buttons are how you can switch between the Select/Move (Left) and Pan (Right) cursor options. 
  7. This controls how zoomed in the PDF is in the PDF viewer, either by percentage or fit. 
  8. When you click these three dots, you can determine your Scroll Type (Page/Vertical) and Spread Type. No Spread means pages will be displayed individually, and Even and Odd Spread Types display pages next to each other, with the Even/Odd option determining which pages will be displayed on the left. 

Deleting a PDF

In order to delete a PDF from your account and reclaim storage space, you must take the following steps.

  1. While in a game, navigate to the Journal tab
  2. Delete the PDF from your game via the Journal
  3. Click "+ Add" and select "PDF"
  4. From the pop up, select "Yes, let's add from my library"
  5. Find the PDF you'd like to remove from your account
  6. Click the three dots to open the menu
  7. Select "Delete"
  8. Click "Yes, delete PDF from my library" from the pop-up menu

This will fully remove the PDF from your account freeing up your storage quota.


Who can access PDFs right now? 

Currently, only Pro Subscribers have access to our PDF functionality.

Do my PDFs have to be a certain size to upload?

Yes, the max size a PDF can be is 150MB, anything below that can be uploaded successfully, but we recommend staying under 100MB for best performance.

Can I download the PDFs from Roll20 once they’ve been uploaded?

No, once they've been uploaded they can only be accessed inside the VTT. 

Can I view a PDF outside of the VTT?

Right now, PDFs can only be viewed from inside the VTT. 

Can Macros/Mods (API) interact with PDFs?

At the moment, no. 

Can Co-GMs add PDFs to games?

Yes! Once you've promoted them to Co-GM, they'll be able to upload PDFs into your game. 

Can you use Form Fillable PDFs?

At the moment, no.

Can you pop out PDFs into a separate window?

At the moment, no.

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